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Soundtrack review: The cured (Rory Friers & Niall Kennedy – 2018)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: The cured (Rory Friers & Niall Kennedy – 2018)



“The cured” is a 2018 horror film. In a world ravaged for years by a virus that turns the infected into zombie-like cannibals, a cure is at last found and the wrenching process of reintegrating the survivors back into society begins. Among the formerly afflicted is Senan (Sam Keeley), a young man haunted by the horrific acts he committed while infected. Welcomed back into the family of his widowed sister-in-law (Ellen Page), Senan attempts to restart his life—but is society ready to forgive him and those like him? Or will fear and prejudice once again tear the world apart? Rory Friers and Niall Kennedy from The Band And So I Watch You From Afar wrote the score.

I think statistically in the past couple of years horror movie scores have taken a big chunk; this is good for the fans but also could get a bit tough for composers who need to constantly come up with new ways to care and keep the listener and viewer invested. It’s also a bold move to have an almost 80 minutes long horror score since it’s not easy to keep the tension going for so long. In this case the composers start of by setting up the dense, tense atmosphere, slowly building it up like a mist that takes over a place in its own rhythm. The score is quiet in its opening parts, almost atmospheric in sound and I am enjoying it as ambient music, without being scared. I am always particular to ambient music regardless of the tone and I like exploring the dark corners of this particular score.

I am more drawn to the parts where the score takes a turn to the dark synth sound of the 80s; “The first nightmare” has a Terminator like sound to it and that’s one of my favourite musical places. I am hypnotised by cues like “Senan cycles to work” which keep the dark sound of the score but add just an extra touch of ambient nostalgia. As the score develops it grows on me because I like the blend of melodic atmospheric and quiet horror; the texture the composers build is believable and relies on constructing a thick, solid web instead of sudden scares.

Sometimes the mood of “The cured” makes me think of people in a dystopian world having visions or flashbacks of a better time when the sun was shinning and everything was aright. The composers do a good job of evoking this duality, the dark present and the pretty past or, better said, the terrifying acts of the past and the attempts of redemption from the present. I get from the music that this is mostly the lonely story and journey of one character.

I remember last year there was an emotional, quiet score for a zombie story “Maggie” written by David Wingo; “The cured” reminds me of it with its quiet approach and focus on the feelings of the characters rather than the horrors of the outside world. Even the violent moments of the story were treated with care by the composers. To me this minimalistic yet complex score was soothing and pleasant to listen to and I recommend it for the different, more lyrical even approach to the horror genre.

Cue rating: 82 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 26 /78

Album excellence: 33%

Senan Goes to Work
Senan Meets Jo
Finding Luke: The Hill
Bike Ride
The Garden
Outbreak of the Resistant
Jo and Lyons Reunited
Jo Leaves the Hospital
Senan and Cillian (End Credits)
End Credits (Orchestral)

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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